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P16(INK4A) represses the paracrine tumor-promoting effects of breast stromal fibroblasts.

ABSTRACT: Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), the most abundant and probably the most active cellular component of breast cancer-associated stroma, promote carcinogenesis through paracrine effects; however, the molecular basis remains elusive. We have shown here that p16(INK4A) expression is reduced in 83% CAFs as compared with their normal adjacent counterparts cancer-free tissues isolated from the same patients. This decrease is mainly due to AUF1-dependent higher turnover of the CDKN2A mRNA in CAFs. Importantly, p16(INK4A) downregulation using specific siRNA activated breast fibroblasts and increased the expression/secretion levels of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. Consequently, media conditioned with these cells stimulated the proliferation of epithelial cells. Furthermore, the migration/invasion of breast cancer cells was also enhanced in an SDF-1-dependent manner. This effect was mediated through inducing an epithelial-mesenchymal transition state. By contrast, increase in p16(INK4A) level through ectopic expression or AUF1 downregulation, reduced the secreted levels of SDF-1 and MMP-2 and suppressed the pro-carcinogenic effects of CAFs. In addition, p16(INK4A)-defective fibroblasts accelerated breast tumor xenograft formation and growth rate in mice. Importantly, tumors formed in the presence of p16(INK4A)-defective fibroblasts exhibited higher levels of active Akt, Cox-2, MMP-2 and MMP-9, showing their greater aggressiveness as compared with xenografts formed in the presence of p16(INK4A)-proficient fibroblasts. These results provide the first indication that p16(INK4A) downregulation in breast stromal fibroblasts is an important step toward their activation.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3679618 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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